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Art

A Tyrannical Tabby Rules an Opulent Assemblage of Densely Layered Scenes by Artist Kris Kuksi

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Tabby Tyrant” (2021), mixed-media assemblage, 31 x 31 x 9 inches. All images courtesy of the artist and Joshua Liner Gallery, shared with permission

A bejeweled tabby presides over Kris Kuksi’s sprawling new landscape teeming with retro figures, ornate baubles, and mass-produced trinkets all blanketed with a thick coat of metallic paint. The Lawrence, Kansas-based artist (previously) melds found objects into complex, frieze-style assemblages that are infused with themes of “historical narratives, biblical subjects, animal worship, architecture, symbolic views on commerce and development, as well as human psychology and behavior.”

Titled “Tabby Tyrant,” the fantastical work is replete with juxtapositions: the individual and the collective, peace and war, industrial and classical architecture, and historic and modern. Minuscule soldiers wrangle a winged figure, a mouse swallows a human whole, and a team of warriors is outfitted with anachronistic weapons, although every action is in service of the feline ruler. Depicting disquieting and eerie actions, each scene is presented through opulent, gilded tableaus.

For more of Kuksi’s densely layered artworks, pick up a copy of his book Conquest and follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art History

Archaeologists Unearth a Nearly 2,000-Year-Old Cat Geoglyph Lounging on a Peruvian Hillside

October 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new discovery on the side of the Mirador Natural Hill in Peru reveals that common feline activities—namely sprawling out in the most comfortable position—have remained relatively stable throughout the last 2,000 years. This week, archaeologists unearthed a 120-foot-wide etching of a cat at the Nazca Lines site in Peru, which is home to a series of geoglyphs depicting a spider, monkey, hummingbird, whale, and fish. The feline rendering dates back to the Late Paracas period between 200-100 BC, making it the oldest in the area.

With bulbous eyes and a striped tail, the now-faded creature was created by stripping the top layers of soil to reveal the lighter-colored bedrock beneath, with lines ranging from 12 to 16 inches thick. “The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear due to its location on a fairly steep slope and the effects of natural erosion,” the Peruvian Ministry of Culture said in a release.

The area is located in the Nazca Desert, which is about 250 miles south of Lima, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although the cat predates Nazca culture—according to the ministry, feline renderings were common in Paracus society and found on textiles, ceramics, and other iconographic objects—similar prehistoric drawings influenced many of the geoglyphs found at the Nazca Lines site. (via Gizmodo)

 

 



Art

An Artistic Endeavor in Brussels Installs Custom Mosaics Outside Your Home—People Are Choosing Portraits of Their Cats

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Cats, dogs, and other mammals are known to mark their territories in myriad ways, but pet owners in Brussels have discovered a more enduring and inviting method. What began as a single project by artist Ingrid Schreyers spurred a municipality-wide initiative: the government of Schaerbeek, a suburb bordering the city of Brussels, now installs any mosaic, either created by residents or a local artist like Whitney Orville, free of charge. Many people are choosing portraits of their furry companions, although the idiosyncratic designs range from playful depictions of wildlife to urban scenes.

We’ve gathered some of the street-side assemblages here, but check out this Instagram account documenting the public art initiative for hundreds more. You also might enjoy these Japanese manhole covers and a similar mosaic-centered initiative to fill potholes.

 

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

Image courtesy of John Hyphen

 

 



History Photography

After Discovering a 120-Year-Old Time Capsule, Photographer Develops Two Cyanotypes of Cats

August 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Earlier this year, photographer Mathieu Stern discovered a time capsule dating back to the early 1900s in his family home. The 120-year-old box held a little girl’s cherished possessions, including a paper doll, seashell, and two glass plate negatives. Stern decided to develop the photographs using Cyanotype, one of the earliest printing processes that was prevalent well into the 20th century, and revealed images of the child’s pets. The photographer chronicled the entire endeavor in a video, which you can find on his YouTube and Instagram, and check out the finished prints of the furry companions below. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Illustration

A Furry Utopia is Overrun with Delicately Rendered Cats in Kamwei Fong's New Illustration

August 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Wonderfurryland” (2020), 25 x 37 inches. All images © Kamwei Fong, shared with permission

According to long-held superstitions, a horde of black cats certainly indicates impending misfortune, but for Kamwei Fong, a mass of the furry creatures is actually a fluffy utopia. Containing felines in various emotional and physical states—drowsy, peeved, and deep in slumber— “Wonderfurryland” features a diverse kitty population defined by their rotund bodies, splayed limbs, and puffed tails. Fong even inked cat-shaped environmental fixtures, like a moon, sun, and mountain, into the black-and-white landscape.

Having an idea for the delicately rendered illustration for years, the Malaysian artist (previously) tells Colossal that it took him more than a month to detail the proper density for each animal. “Despite the long hours of effort and exhaust(ing) tons of micro-pigment ink pens, Kamwei finds the working process therapeutic and enjoyable, to see every bit of his creations being added day by day to complete the whole painting,” a statement about the project says.

To follow Fong’s upcoming kitty-centered illustrations, follow him on Instagram

 

 

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Photography

Rare Black Panther Shadows His Leopard Mate in Incredible Shot by Photographer Mithun H

July 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Eternal Couple.” Image © Mithun H, shared with permission

Since 2014, wildlife filmmaker and photographer Mithun H has been pining for sightings of Saya, a black panther that’s been eluding his admirers in the Kabini Forest in India for years. After camping out in the area for six days, the photographer captured a stunning image of the mysterious animal shadowing his leopard partner, Cleopatra.

Mithun H notes that the couple have been together for four years and have an atypical relationship for the species. “Usually in the courting pairs generally it is the male who takes charge and moves around with the female following close behind. But with this couple, it was definitely Cleo who was in charge while the panther followed,” he wrote on Instagram.

This isn’t the photographer’s first experience with the rare cat, either. He previously worked with National Geographic Wild on The Real Black Panther, which follows Saya’s life. “It’s been a passion and a beautiful journey in the woods of Kabini,” the photographer says. (via PetaPixel)